MOSCOW (AP) – Around 1,700 seals were found dead on the coast of the Caspian Sea in southern Russia, officials said on Sunday.
Authorities in Russia’s Dagestan province said it was still unclear what caused the animals’ deaths, but they likely died of natural causes.
Regional officials initially said on Saturday that 700 dead seals had been found on the coast, but on Sunday Zaur Gapizov, head of the Caspian Environmental Conservation Center, said after a broader inspection of the coast, the number of dead animals had risen, according to state news agency RIA Novosti was 1,700.
Gapizov said the seals probably died a few weeks ago. He added that there was no evidence they were killed by poachers.
Experts from the Federal Fisheries Agency and prosecutors inspected the coast and collected data for laboratory tests that did not immediately detect any pollutants.
Several previous cases of mass seal deaths have been attributed to natural causes.
Data on the number of seals in the Caspian Sea are very diverse. The Fisheries Agency said the total number of Caspian seals is between 270,000 and 300,000, while the Gapizov center put the number at 70,000.
(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed, or redistributed.)
https://whdh.com/news/1700-dead-seals-found-on-russias-caspian-coast/ 1,700 dead seals found on Russia’s Caspian coast – Boston News, Weather, Sports